should I accept first offer on home

Selling My Home: Should I Take The First Offer?

You put your home on the market. You got an offer. You’re thrilled. It’s the first offer though. Should you take it?

Hi everybody. It’s Ruth. Today I want to talk to you about whether or not you should be taking the very first offer on the property. So you’re a seller. You have your home on the market. And you have an offer coming in. Should you just accept it, or should you negotiate a little bit? Of course it depends on the offer how much you will negotiate, but I do not buy into the notion that the very first offer you’re going to get is going to be the best one. And I hear a lot of agents saying that. I do not agree. You should always negotiate. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the price. It can be other elements such as a closing date, an inspection date, some other contingency, the deposit amount, etc. It’s not just about the price.

Why you should always negotiate. First of all, a little bit of negotiation will let you know whether this buyer is serious or not about the property and the closing. Sometimes buyers themselves don’t know that they’re not really ready to buy. They get caught up in the process. They get caught up in making offers, or their agent has talked them into this. A little bit of going back and forth and a little bit of time and negotiation and what it requires will help you make sure that the buyer is in fact committed to the property and to closing.

Another reason why you should not accept the very first offer that comes in is that a buyer may feel like he or she overpaid for the property. This may not be necessarily true. They may be paying exactly what the market says they should be paying. But the feeling could be that if their offer is accepted as is, that they have conceded too quickly, too much. And this can backfire later after inspection or during the process, towards closing.

Don’t accept the very first offer that comes on your table, because you should always ask for everything you want. I do believe that. If you want something, ask for it. The worst case scenario is that the buyer’s going to say no. I have some clients sometimes that are afraid of asking for too much from the other side, and I tell them, “Just ask. Ask. Ask nicely. And the worst case scenario is that you will get a no. Maybe we’ll get a negotiation. Maybe you’ll end up with something closer to what you want, and that’s fine.” But some people think that if they ask for too much, they will scare off the other side. I don’t believe in that. No one should easily be scared off by a request for a better closing date or a little bit more money. The right buyer will always be open to a conversation. They may not give you everything that you want, but they will not be easily scared off.

To summarize, never accept the very first offer that comes your way. Look at it. Look at the good stuff. Look at the bad stuff. There’s always something that can be improved. Ask for what you want. Don’t be shy about that. And never be afraid for asking for more. Worst case scenario is that you will get a no, and you can still move forward with a fantastic buyer who’s going to love your home.

If you have any questions, contact me. I’m easy to contact through the website. I love hearing from you.
Ruth Malkin Brookline Real Estate Expert